Darwin During the Wet, Am I crazy?

Jan 29th, 2009, 01:52 PM
  #1  
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Darwin During the Wet, Am I crazy?

Hi All-
We are in the preliminary planning stages of a 2010 trip to New Zealand, the Top End of Australia and Bali, in that order on the itinerary. This could occur as early as February of next year with a visit to Darwin in late February. We could also go to Darwin in late March of early April.

I think I know the better choice, but just want to know if it is totally absurd to visit the Top End in late February. We have been to Uluru before in 40C temps and currently live in Florida so we know how intense summer thunderstorms can be. What do you think? Would you rule out Darwin in late February completely?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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I lived in Darwin for a year and actually prefer being there in the wet because then there is water everywhere and you do get a break from the heat.
LizzyF is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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You really will not get 40C in Darwin but perhaps 35C and occasional day a tad higher but it'll be the humidity that gets you, probably much more so than Florida.

A lot of the locals do not mind the actual wet months as Lizzy indicates to get a cooling down with regular showers, as against the months either side of the wet season when it can be even more testy and March into April could be just that.

You'll also have limited access into Kakadu locations but that'll be true of February or March/April but there'll still be "wet" tours operating unless a big big wet really cuts roads in - couple of years back Yellow Waters had a good half metre plus over access roads and that means crocs would roam far and wide.
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Kakadu and Litchfield are the main reasons for wanting to come to Darwin, so massive flooding would not be good for seeing these areas.

What about cyclone threat (i.e. probability) during this time period (late February and on)?
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Massive flooding will affect access anywhere, Litchfield probably less so than Kakadu being so much larger and expansive flat areas from where the water when it does drain will cause main road crossings to be under, but same possibility applies to Litchfield.
It is not every year that you're going to have weather of that nature and it is more associated with clclonic or low pressure systems hanging about.

Cyclone Season is generally December to March but again still a possibility of cyclones outside of that period and then again not every year has significant cyclones and low system depressions that can develop into just a category 1 or 2 may be some distance away but still create for a lot of rain to be dumped.

But nobody has a crystal ball - even late last year a British based Meterology Mob, supposedly the pinacle of the profession forecast a big cyclone season for northern Australia and it was a bit of a fizzer and even if they were a year out, not too much in the way of cyclones have developed this year yet, but still early days and yet plenty of rain and flooding.

We currently have it pretty windy along the Queensland lower eastcoast, possibly the whole coast courtesy of a large low system creently well out to sea but if that tangles with all that red hor air down south we may yet have the makings of a perfect storm George would be proud of.

If the boffins were two years out with predictions, then look out!, the cyclone season that impacts on NW and Darwin from that direction apparently having something to do with monsoonal troughs that come down off the Himalayas highly moisture laden and meet up with warmer air over the Indian Ocean, that being dependent on water temperatures too.
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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The weather systems of the two hemispheres are largely unconected so don't go watching the Nepalese reports.

If you know what you might be getting into then go for it. That is a special time of year with much wildlife activity if you can get to it.

As it is still a year off, why not subscribe to some Darwin based blogs and follow what they are experiencing.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Saltuarius,
The Darwin based blogs sound like a good idea. Do you have the URLs?

Bushranger,
35C with high humidity we can handle.
It's like that nearly every summer day in Orlando, until the afternoon thunderstorms begin and it starts to cool off. During intense outbursts, we can get rain at the rate of 3 inches (7.62 cm) per hour.

Yes, my plans are a year out, but for Qantas frequent flyer seats in business or first class, 330 days out is what it takes. It's that competitive!

Please keep the ideas coming. I appreciate them.

-Vic
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Jan 29th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Not quite right inmy weather summary but there are believers in cross equator weather connections:
http://www.abc.net.au/storm/monsoon/what.htm
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Orlando-vic,
sorry but I don't. The North Territory Tourist Office might be a good place to start.

Bushranger,
If you got, "the cyclone season that impacts on NW and Darwin from that direction apparently having something to do with monsoonal troughs that come down off the Himalayas highly moisture laden and meet up with warmer air over the Indian Ocean" from your link one of us is missing or adding something.

It is the flow of water which they claim affects the weather in each hemisphere, [true but not the whole truth]not the weather in the Himalayas roling down to Darwin with humidity from the snows of Everest.

While I found the article to be mostly well stated arguement and factual there is an error which is exposed within the text. Compare their statements about heat lows only forming over land and the statements about the warm air rising over the bodies of warm water. Think cyclones think warm water.

When scintific article for the Australian Broadcasting Commission are written by their science team they are usually of a very high standard but not all science related articles come from there.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Forgot to mention that not all or even most relationships are causal.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 10:46 PM
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Darwin and surrounding areas are great to see in Feb and March-it is the "cool" season although as a heat hater I found it very difficult.You won't get temps of 40 at that time. The other times that I have been to Darwin in the build up in Oct/Nov I found worse than the wet season.Going in the wet provides a whole new perspective to the area.
I would not rule out Darwin at that time.
northie is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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I don't know that it is called the cool season, perhaps the green season in addition to being wet, yes.
Have a look at http://www.worldclimate.com/ and plug in Orlando too and you'll have comparable weather history.

If you look at 24 hr averages you need to remember that factors in overnight temps as well.

But as for Orlando conditioning you, just remember that Orlando is a tad over 28 Lat., not even what we refer to as sub tropical here.

Darwin is about 12.5 Lat and a lot closer to the equator and very tropical, kind of like Nicaragua and so if you have been down that neck of the woods you'll have some idea.

If you like sweating and drinking oodles of cold beer while the rain pelts down just so you can sweat some more you'll love it.
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 12:50 AM
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Oh, and Bali that time of the year could be even wetter.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 1st, 2009, 02:43 AM
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cool season was my word for the season=that's why it was in inverted commas.
northie is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Many thanks to everybody who offered their opinions here. Rain and high humidity does not bother us as much as the possibility of tours being cancelled due to flooding. There is no clear cut answer to my question, but I have decided to postpone our visit to Darwin until at least April 1st of next year. Thanks again!

-Vic
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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A good decision IMO. Most of those who live in the southern part of mainland Australia spend a good deal of the summer thinking about migrating to Tasmania and wouldn't think of holidaying in the far north at that time of the year. Of course, there are always those who have no choice, are on something, or have a business relying on the tourist trade, or all of the above, who will try to paint a different picture.
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Feb 6th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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cwn
 
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Hi, Orlando Vic,

We are from the Texas Gulf Coast and are in Darwin right now. It is windy and raining like crazy this evening.

It is humid, but no worse than I am use to.

You are welcome to read the blog of our trip we are doing for our family and friends. I just posted on our time in Darwin with some pictures.

The one thing I will say is there are very few tourist here and the Park was empty! In a way that can be a go thing.
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Feb 6th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Orlando Vic,

I hit post to soon ... here is the blog location-
www.aroundtheworldin132days.blogspot.com
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Feb 6th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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cwn
"There are perfectly flat stretches of the highway with flood warning signs and markers over two meters tall that warn not to enter without checking the flood gauge. We are not sure where that much water would come from and cant see why this particular stretch of highway would be subject to flooding that extent."

Taken from your blog mate and with that rain you found about afterall, think of it at a higher intensity and for days on end and you might be able to imagine why the road signs are there!, just like about 60% of Queensland is currently deluged wth there being many towns that have been isolated for weeks.

And what you experienced and Queensland is having is without there really having been any cyclones of note formed.
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Feb 6th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Carolyn-
Thanks for the info on the blog. I will probably have some more specific questions about Darwin, Litchfield and Kakadu NPs, so I'll just ask them there.
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